The 13th ASEAN-ECO Ministerial Meeting at New York

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The 13th Joint Ministerial Meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was held in New York on 26 September 2013, on the sidelines of the sixty-eighth Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Meeting was attended by representatives from ASEAN and ECO Member States, and co-chaired by H.E. Mr.Alounkeo Kittikhoun, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR, and H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The ECO Secretariat was represented by Ambassador Shamil Aleskerov, Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

The meeting took stock of the recent developments in the two regions and reviewed the status of cooperation between ASEAN and ECO in the light of the Memorandum of Understanding concluded between the two sides in 2006. The participants of the meeting also exchanged views on the future direction of the ASEAN-ECO relations.

The meeting reviewed the progress on the Work Programme for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and in view of the increasing need for ASEAN-ECO cooperation in the areas of mutual interest, discussed the possibility of revising the MoU to broaden scope of existing cooperation.

The meeting stressed the importance of the role of the private sector in promoting inter-regional trade and investment and emphasized the need to facilitate and promote interactions among the private sectors and businesses of the two regions. In this regard, the meeting recalled the decisions reached at the ASEAN-ECO Joint Ministerial Meeting held in September 2011 in New York, which called for an ASEAN-ECO Business Forum and an ASEAN-ECO Tourism Forum to be organized, and welcomed the respective offers of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Turkey to host these events in their countries in 2014.

The meeting acknowledged the growing collaboration between the Secretariats of ASEAN and ECO in the recent years and encouraged the two sides to maintain the exchange of information and best practices in order to strengthen the cooperation between the two Organizations.

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